Supreme Court Ready To Uphold Laws To Force Voter Requirements

( The Supreme Court signaled on Tuesday that they might be willing to uphold current voting laws in Arizona that some have said are too restrictive.

The court heard arguments in a case that could ultimately set the general parameters for which voting laws stand and which don’t, which could dramatically alter the voting landscape for the future.

At jeopardy is the landmark Voting Rights Act, which was first passed back in 1965. That law made it illegal for states to enact any law that resulted voter discrimination that was based on race. By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court gutted one of the two major sections of that law eight years ago.

Now, the other major part of the Act is at risk, some say.

There are two Arizona laws in front of the high court. One currently bars the collection of any absentee ballots by someone other than a caregiver or family member. The other bars the state from counting provisional ballots that were cast by voters in their wrong precinct.

The Republican National Committee and state Republicans in Arizona have argued that the laws are necessary to prevent voter fraud. They lost that argument in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which found that no voter fraud occurred.

That court did say there is evidence that the laws make it harder for minorities in Arizona to vote, since they typically live in more rural areas that don’t have a mail route or post office close to them.

The arguments in front of the Supreme Court Tuesday focused on the standard that the court should use in determining whether voter laws like these actually result in discrimination against these minority voters and, as a result, are unconstitutional.

Some of the key justices in this case for Republicans are Chief Justice John Roberts and Amy Coney Barrett. On Tuesday, they seemed to press both sides with some difficult questions.

Roberts quizzed GOP lawyers why it’s “a bad thing” for election procedures to seek “racial proportionality.” Later, he pressed the lawyer for the Democrats to describe what he’d consider unacceptable in terms of the voting law. He asked:

“What if the provision results in a 1% decline in participation by minority voters — is that substantial enough?”

Barrett spoke directly to the state lawyer in Arizona, saying there were “some contradictions” in their argument. She said his job was to show why changes to the law preserved equal “opportunity” for both nonwhite and white voters.

Later in the questioning, though, she flip flopped a bit, saying:

“There’s a difficulty that the statutory language and its lack of clarity presents in trying to figure out when something crosses from an inconvenience to a burden.”

In addition to Barrett and Roberts, the other two likely deciding voters in this case will be the other two justices that former President Donald Trump appointed to the court — Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.

The case will continue to be debated in the court, and could have huge ramifications for what voting looks like in America in future elections.